The Idea

The course should address important current issues from the Franciscan perspective.

The 25 lessons were written by authors from all parts of the world to ensure that the Course will address important problems on a world-wide scale. They were chosen not only for their academic expertise on topics assigned to them, but also because of their concrete and lived experiences in actual situations related to their respective lessons. Today much is said about "contextual theology," which relies on the concept that theology and spirituality, including Franciscan theology and spirituality, take place within a precisely defined context. The socio-political, economic and cultural situations, the concrete experiences and traditions are not simply accidental realities, but are essential determinants of theology.

 

To serve the Universal Church, the Course should be Intercultural and Universal

From its onset the CCFMC was meant to be intercultural and in the service of the Universal Church. It seeks to reach out beyond the narrow boundaries of specific places or continents. Franciscan sisters and brothers, who are faced with problems of their own in the course of their daily preoccupations and duties, generally find no relevance in the worries and concerns of people in other continents. Therefore, the CCFMC invites every person of good will to bear within oneself a truly "catholic" that is, a universal and all-embracing breadth of vision.
To assure that the Course itself will have a "universal and all-embracing breadth of vision," an Intercultural Committee was organized. The members were tasked to examine critically every lesson and to enrich it not only with insights drawn from other ranges of experience but also in the light of their own particular and cultural circumstances. Each team member studied situations in such a way that problems foreign to one’s own experience and extraneous to one’s own culture were understood, dealt with and resolved.

 

The first version of the Course was translated into the following languages:

Burmese, Chinese, German, English, French, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Swahili, Korean, Serbo-Croatian, Portuguese, Slovak, Spanish, Pilipino, Czech, Hungarian and Urdu.

 

The Course should be Inter-Franciscan

All the branches of the Franciscan family must be represented at all three levels of cooperation as authors, as members of the Intercultural Team and as editors. This representation was initially achieved in respect to the Franciscan First Order, but not with the women congregations of the Third Order Regular and with the Secular Franciscan Order. There ere was a predominance of the First Order in the editorial work on the first edition and a corresponding involuntary neglect in taking into account the spirituality of Saint Clare. While working with the Course it became increasingly evident that, with Francis alone, the Franciscan Movement would not have evolved into its stature today. Clare’s contribution to the birth and development of the Franciscan Movement can not be overlooked. Eight hundred years ago Francis and Clare together have shaped a reform movement and gave it impetus and vitality that since then have fascinated millions of people the world over. Latin Americans aptly express this sense of "belongingness" and inseparability by the coined word Francisclareano.
Therefore, the CCFMC aims to promote cooperation among Franciscan women and men and with those who have a keen sense of affinity to the Franciscan ideals. It is hoped, that as a result of ongoing inter-Franciscan cooperation, a world-wide family will arise together and as a family will confront situations in today’s world with uniquely Franciscan responses.

 

The Course Should Have a Uniform Structure and Style

The Course should be uniform in structure and style. To achieve this end an Editorial Team was named to guarantee a uniform style and a consistent, regular structure. This team was commissioned to incorporate the complementary additional material supplied by the Intercultural Team and to take account of constructive criticisms. Each lesson is structured as follows:
A. Introduction : Focuses on the aim and objectives of the lesson.
B. Survey : Gives a birds-eye-view of the content of the lesson.
C. Information : Presents the content of the lesson.
D. Exercises : Offers texts that serve both to consolidate the content of the lesson and to supply material for discussion among course participants.
E. Application : Gives suggestions to stimulate concrete action in one’s own immediate region.
F. Bibliography :